MIAMI – Playing against the 76ers doesn’t provide the special feeling it once did for Wayne Ellington. However, the Miami Heat reserve guard does take satisfaction in beating his hometown team.
“Philly fans are hostile,” he said. “It’s a sports town. No question. So when you go into their building and you get a W, it feels great.”
Ellington and the Heat hosted the Sixers Thursday night in Game 3 of the team’s Eastern Conference quarterfinals at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami defeated the Sixers, 113-103, on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center. Ellington had 11 points and a steal in the game.
The former Episcopal Academy standout averaged 8.5 points through the first two games.
“It feels great, especially obviously [coming] from the area,” Ellington said. “I hear all of the chatter and all of the talk, everybody talking trash to me. So it’s always fun to go into Wells Fargo and come out of there victorious.”
Aside from that, the former Wynnewood resident described playing against the Sixers, especially in Philly, as cool. He enjoys the hometown support from family members and friends.
“Other than that, I don’t really get anything out of it anymore. It’s cool,” Ellington said. “When I was younger, I grew up obviously watching the Sixers and AI [Allen Iverson], but not anymore [in] my ninth year [in the NBA], especially not here.”
Ellington teamed up with former Sixers shooting guard Gerald Henderson Jr. at Episcopal. Both were 2006 McDonald’s All Americans and led their school to a 52-7 record during their junior and senior seasons. Ellington was regarded as the nation’s eighth-best player in the class of 2006 by Rivals.com recruiting service. He averaged 21.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists that season.
Heat guards Dion Waiters and Derrick Jones Jr. are also from the Philadelphia area. Waiters, who had season-ending left ankle surgery, is from South Philly. Jones is a Chester native.